Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nothing at all

It's strange...with three of the children off to school during the day, and Billy's nap giving me 2 free hours TO MYSELF...I'm not really getting much done.  I mean, I'm still baking things, making dinner, keeping the house clean...but I don't feel much of any creative impulse right now.  I don't feel like photographing our days, I don't want to start any new projects right now...I just want to BE.  I'm sure I'll snap out of this soon enough, but right now, I'm kind of enjoying doing "nothing".

Since I don't really have anything else to share with you today, here are some videos our friend Thad shot of our church band this past Sunday:


King of Glory

I Am

Your Love Never Fails

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Feathered Fascinators

Two weeks ago, Greg was out at a late-night rock show, so I invited a few girlfriends over for an evening making Feathered Fascinators (hair-clip/accessories).

Feathered Fascinators (Hair Clips)

We made a great big mess of the living room rug (holy heck, feather bits float EVERYWHERE), but it was superfun!  We were each able to knock out a whole handful of fascinators in just an hour or two.  (It was late and there was no natural light to photograph by when we were done, so all of these are just mine -- but collectively, we made a lot!)

Feathered Fascinators (Hair Clips)
For me

Feathered Fascinators (Hair Clips)
For Daisy

I love wearing feathers in my hair.  It feels so glamorous and unnecessary and fun.  I love playing dress-up in real life.  Next, I want to try experimenting with silk flowers!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You spin me right round baby, right round...

When I went out to wait for Daisy's school bus on Monday, I grabbed my spindle to help me while away the minutes.  Now I've been spinning each day as I wait...

Spindle spinning blue Merino

Oh my goodness, it's been so long since I used my Golding (Celtic Knot 1.3 oz), and it has been such a happy way to spend those last 10 minutes before the bus pulls up.  Yesterday, Billy woke up early from his nap (not so fun), so he was with me waiting for the school bus, and thought the spinning was rather delightful .

Spindle spinning while waiting for Daisy's bus

Spindle spinning while waiting for Daisy's bus

Also, I've been back at the wheel again...

Coreless Core Spinning a Loop Spontaneous Spinning Cloud "Sea Treasure"

I pulled a bag of Spontaneous Spinning Clouds from Loop in colorway Sea Treasure from the stash, and had sudden inspiration to do some coreless-corespinning.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Such fun!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Polka Dot Apron

Our summer has been busy.  REALLY busy.  Somehow though, amongst all of the busyness, I managed to carve out some time to make a project that was all for me.

Polka-Dot Apron
Simplicity Daisy Kingdom apron pattern # 3701

A while ago I had asked my Aunt Susie for apron pattern suggestions, and this was one of them.  I immediately wanted to make it for myself, but, as it happens with Projects For Me, it got pushed further and further down in my queue.  I actually used the little girl version of the pattern to make an apron for Daisy this past Christmas.

Polka-Dot Apron

Happily though, I finally decided to take some time to make this, and it fits so nicely!  The criss-cross straps across the back make the apron comfortable to wear and keeps it from shifting around without having to tie it too tightly.  Such a great design.  I love the completely unnecessary shoulder ruffles as well.

Polka-Dot Apron

Polka-Dot Apron

The piping and rick-rack details are a little fussy to work, but I am so charmed by the finished product, and the lined upper makes this apron feel like a true quality piece that will last for ages.

Polka-Dot Apron

Predictably...I want to make at least 11 more!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day Of School

Last Thursday evening, our family packed up 6 bags of school supplies and went to Meet The Teachers Night at our school.

School supplies for 4 children, bagged and ready to go
(The 7th bag is for Billy's Pre-K/Mother's Day Out program that he'll start in September)

Apparently Texas does not provide school supplies.  On the upside, they do provide amazing teachers, so...I suppose that is more important.  Frustrating though.

Yesterday morning, Greg was able to report a few hours late to work in honor of the 1st day of school.  When we woke the children, we discovered that they each had their own excited expectations/anxiety about their first day in each new grade.

1st day of school

Greg settled the boys in their classes while Billy and I walked Daisy in to her Pre-K class (her First Day Of School Ever).  Once I'd gotten her set and choked back my tears as I said goodbye, I went down the hall to kiss each of the boys.  They were both happily and peacefully coloring at their desks.  No more thunderclouds for Sparky.

On the first day of school I always feel peace/sorrow/loss/excitement/guilt/relief....and then they are home again.  Before my afternoon had barely begun, Daisy's school bus rolled up to the house....

Daisy's bus bringing her home

Daisy getting off the bus after her 1st day of Pre-School
And when I scooped her off the step, I hugged her like I would never let go and tried not to cry all over again.

We ate cookies together and I listened to her talk all about her day...her new friends...her beautiful teacher...her new class songs...
Daisy eating Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
And for one precious hour, while Billy napped and the boys were still at school, it was just she and I.  There is no way that I can ever feel prepared for that first day (for each of my children).  There is no way that I could have spent enough time with her, had enough silly little conversations, played dress-up enough, painted our nails enough...there is no such thing as enough.  But then that day comes, and my little baby walks out of my house and into the great big halls of SCHOOL...and I let them go.  Yesterday, I let her go.

I heard this poem on the radio yesterday morning, and it speaks directly to how I feel.  If you don't want to cry, don't read it.  Just sayin'.

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well
By Victor Buono

Dear World:
I bequeath to you today one little a crispy dress...with two brown eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day long.. and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sun when she runs.
I trust you'll treat her well.

She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning...and skipping off down the street to her first day of school. And never again will she be completely mine.
Prim and proud she'll wave her young and independent hand this morning and say "Goodbye" and walk with little lady steps to the schoolhouse.

Now she'll learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called. She'll learn to tune her ears for the sounds of school-bells...and deadlines...and she'll learn to giggle...and gossip...and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy 'cross the aisle sticks out his tongue at her. And now she'll learn to be jealous. And now she'll learn how it is to feel hurt inside. And now she'll learn how not to cry.

No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch on a summer day and watch an ant scurry across the crack in the sidewalk. Nor will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn and kiss lilac blooms in the morning dew. No, now she'll worry about those important grades and which dress to wear and whose best friends is whose. And the magic of books and learning will replace the magic of her blocks and dolls. And now she'll find new heroes.

For five full years now I've been her sage and Santa Claus and pal and playmate and mother and friend. Now she'll learn to share her worship with her teachers ...which is only right. But no longer will I be the smartest woman in the whole world. Today when that school bell rings for the first time...she'll learn what it means to be a member of the group...with all its privileges and its disadvantages too.

She'll learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud...or kiss dogs...or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...or even watch ants scurry across cracks in sidewalks in the summer.
Today she'll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. And I'll stand on the front porch and watch her start out on the long, lonely journey to becoming a woman.
So, world, I bequeath to you today one little a crispy dress...with two brown eyes...and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.

I trust you'll treat her well.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Date Day

School is starting in just TWO DAYS!!  We're counting down the hours...I know I'm going to cry as I watch Daisy walk into the school for her very first day of classes, but I'm still super excited to be back in the school year schedule, have time during the day to myself, and get to spend special time with Billy.  I will be back to my regular crafty posting next week, but for now, here's some fun stuff that Greg and I picked up on a date we had on South Congress:
Anniversary shopping in Austin
Headwrap, birdie hairclips, handmade necklace

We also visited a superfun place called Big Top Candy Shop:
10th Anniversary Date

10th Anniversary Date

Stopped in to check out Hill Country Weavers:
10th Anniversary Date

And drooled over Jeffrey Campbell shoes at a vintage boutique:
10th Anniversary Date

So much fun with my favorite guy!  We need to schedule more daytime dates.  It was so refreshing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

10 Years

Well.  I had never intended to leave such a large gap in the blogging.  Sorry for worrying some of you!  It seems that summer has gotten in the way.  Busyness -- for the good and for the bad -- has overtaken the past few weeks, and I can hardly remember where the time went!  We are now in our last week of summer vacation, and we are all looking forward to the start of school on Monday.


On July 28th, Greg and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.

As per tradition, Greg had this fabulous bouquet delivered to the house (calla lilies are my favorite flower):
10th Anniversary Bouquet

And as usual I had NO IDEA what I would make for our special at-home dinner-date...and at the last moment remembered that seafood is the one thing that I almost never cook, but we both love!  Since seafood also tends to be so quick-cooking, it's perfect for an elegant -- but low stress -- meal.

10th Anniversary dinner

I sauteed mussels with shallots, garlic, serrano chiles, thyme, ginger, white wine and cream to serve over fresh angel hair.  I also roasted some Hasselback Potatoes (without the pesto this time), and made a mango salsa (all ingredients cut in tiny cubes to make it easier to eat it scooped up in the mussel shells).  Using some dough from a batch of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day I baked a loaf of French bread.  On the side I tossed some salad greens with an asian-sesame dressing (Annie's brand -- love it!).

My intention was to share with you the recipe for the mussels, but...then there was this really long blogging gap, and I don't remember exactly what I did.  Whoops!  So if you want to try it, take the above description as an unofficial recipe, and let me know how it turns out!

Greg and I, waiting to get into Roller Derby

I am so incredibly thankful to be married to this amazing man.  Greg is not only thoughtful and loving with me, but also an amazing father to our children.  He takes the time to listen to each of us, he is generous with his time, and he works hard to provide for our household.  He seeks out ways to make each member of our family feel special and important and noticed.  I feel so privileged that I get to spend the rest of my life with a man who is faithful to me, and a true partner in this journey of life.

Greg, I love you even more now than I did 10 years ago.  Thank you for choosing me.


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